Bank Bust: Respect workers' rights – LPi

The way the Bank of Ghana; GCB Bank – which took over UT Bank and Capital Bank – and the recently established Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited (morphed by fusing uniBnak, The Construction Bank, The Royal Bank, The Beige Bank and Sovereign Bank) are treating their retrenched staff, is at variance with the labour laws, the Labour Policy international (LPi) has said...


The way the Bank of Ghana; GCB Bank – which took over UT Bank and Capital Bank – and the recently established Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited (morphed by fusing uniBnak, The Construction Bank, The Royal Bank, The Beige Bank and Sovereign Bank) are treating their retrenched staff, is at variance with the labour laws, the Labour Policy international (LPi) has said.

Retrenched staff of the now-defunct banks have not received their severance packages.

Before fusing the five banks into CBG, the central bank, in August 2017, revoked the licences of UT Bank and Capital Bank, and were subsequently taken over by GCB Bank, after having been declared "irredeemably insolvent" by the Bank of Ghana.

Reacting to the situation, LPi said the workers are not being treated fairly.

In a statement, LPi said: “Having carefully observed some of the actions of the BoG, GCB Bank and the Consolidated Bank of Ghana, LPi would like to place on record that some of the experiences workers of the seven banks are going through are at variance with the Labour law, especially in terms of their employment status.

LPi said its understanding of the labour law, particularly section 65(2) is that: ‘Following a closedown, arrangement or amalgamation of an undertaking, which causes a worker to become unemployed or suffer diminution in his conditions of employment, then such worker is deemed to be redundant and subsequently entitled to redundancy pay’.

“The pronouncement regarding the affected banks clearly stated that there would be no immediate job losses and that the workers should continue with their normal work. There was no break in their rendering of services albeit under a different institution and management

“LPi is of the view that having absorbed the workers into their fold, GCB and CBG should not have put them on probation when they had become part and parcel of the new entities, as it were. Consequently, these workers had transitioned with their length of service, bank accounts and indebtedness as well as the customers they served, their deposits and liabilities to GCB and CBG.

“It is not sound employment practice to direct workers to prove or justify their continued employment in an organisation within two months or be fired, especially when it was unlikely that their targets, objectives and assignments had been discussed as part of a well-established performance assessment and improvement plan.

“Finally, best practice regarding application for jobs is for organisations to advertise the available vacancies so that interested persons could apply. The directive requesting workers to apply for the jobs they are already employed to do has a different connotation in employment relations and should comply with Section 65 of the Labour Law, Act 651 or other severance options.

“LPi appreciates the right of information to lay off workers but various acceptable options are available for consideration which option do not include the methods being employed by GCB and CBG under the circumstances.”

LPi said it believes the BoG has not considered the rights and interests of the affected staff of the seven defunct banks and wants government to take steps to correct the wrongs.

Source: Ghana/ClassFMonline.com/91.3FM



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